A few words on the Introvert

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SolidState
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A few words on the Introvert

Postby SolidState » Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:25 am

As many of you have noticed, the Introvert finally dropped. I've mostly kept my mouth shut about the design, as loose lips sink ships, but now that it's out there, I'd like to share some commentary about it because I think that it will likely be initially misunderstood. I've had one for a while now, and it is my EDC. It has been for a few months, and is among my favorite knives. Bias, right...

First, the knife was something I designed for myself. I'm not in this for sales. I asked myself what my perfect Spyderco would be, and what it would do. It would have to be FMA friendly, climbing friendly (carabiner clippable - ideally locked shut when carabiner clipped as well, and rope-cutting-friendly), and EDC friendly for diverse working environments. I wanted it to conform to most knife law so that I can take it to reasonable places. It was a long process of coming to what exactly I wanted. The first thing I tried was a liner lock version that got rejected after consideration. I didn't do this to sell knives, I did it to have the knife that I wanted, and have it made by the company whose knives I love most, so I kept poking at the design. I'm still working on stuff - CQI and all.

The knife is born and bred of Spyderco. My Spyderpac, and drawers full of old models and sprints are my studies in making a good knife. My conversations with Ed Schempp, Eric, and Sal were priceless in understanding how to distill design. I borrowed and distilled ergonomic considerations from all of their knives. Spyderwa also showed me a library that opened my eyes. My maker's mark on the knife is my initials as an alchemical symbol for distillation because I see the knife as a distillation of the Swick and Caly principally, with the Rock Salt having great influence on angling the blade to anchor into the bones and muscles of the forearm. The Poliwog is also a big influence on the knife. The Poliwog really set a new standard for what a knife is in my world. I don't think I'd have gone off the reservation lockwise had it not been for the Poliwog.

It is hard to get a lot of features into a small package, especially a folding one. Some generalities of knives just work and tickle my personal fancy. For instance, I like the Caly pinch point wherever I find it. I like flippers, like Brad Southard's, that organize the knife such that the finish of the flipping motion moves the finger naturally toward the choil. I like ambidexterity, and back locks. I like Ed's blade angles. I like belly on blades, and I like to customize by grinding belly off of blades to get wharnies. I like to leave meat for hot-rodders. I'm going to be drilling a bunch of holes in mine. I honestly can't wait to see what other people do. I'm going to get a kick out of what happens when people open it up and see what's going on when they hot-rod it out. It's just on a few more planes than the usual folding knife... It's called the Introvert because the definition of the verb "introvert" is to turn inward or in upon itself - which the knife must do to have its features.

The knife is designed with the martial arts and martial artists in mind. If you were to learn one move in FMA, it would likely be the crossada - you can easily find videos by looking at Michael Janich's MBC. Ed's knives naturally place the blade at an excellent angle for doing a strong crossada without having to angle the wrist heavily to feed the cut. Further, such an angle in earth grip allows for punch-like crossada actions to be taken. The ergonomics of feeding the cut (in heaven grip) with maximum power have been repeatedly shown in cutting competition. Earth grip feeds cuts nicely as well. Ed doesn't angle his knives like that because of coincidence, and I didn't adopt it from coincidence either. I *unabashedly* lifted it straight from a heavy hitter in excellent, functional, ergonomic design. Thanks Ed for mixing hobby, art, and science with sharing; and you know I've already thanked you in person.

The Introvert is rather unique in that in earth grip, the thumb ramp makes a proxy hook-type device between the wrist and the ramp. A common followup to a crossada is to draw the back of the knife over the wrist and draw the wrist to one's hip to position for an armbar or throw. The thumb ramp of the Introvert facilitates this use of the knife, but also positions the blade in such a fashion as to be unlikely to stab the hip of the user as he draws his opponent's arm in for the bar or throw. Any of you who have done this drill will know exactly what I'm talking about. Of course, the flipper can be deployed by the pinky - I like to do this one - and in the grip, the butt of the handle makes a very nice pressure enhancement tool. I personally like this grip, as I spend lots of time on the speedbags.

Closed, the thumb may be placed in the ramp part of the blade, and the fingers around the handle to make the knife into a useful blunt striking or pressure-compliance tool (think hitting with the flipper, but not stabbing with it).

The thumb ramp is not jimped because that isn't necessary. I honestly don't know if the knife passed MBC rating standards, but the ramping is definitely along those lines. It is easier to add jimping aftermarket than remove it well, so there you go. Again, I like to think of this as a martial arts and crafts knife. It still retains the ability to open bottles, although the smoothing of the lock-bar contact makes for better ergos, it costs some ability to open a bottle in one fell swoop. It takes me two to three pries to open a bottle with the back of the blade's thumb ramp and handle acting as a bottle opener in the closed position. :cool:

The surprising thing for me is how often I hold it unconventionally yet comfortably. One of my favorite grips places my pointer finger along the back of the blade with my thumb in the opening hole, and the point of my middle finger in the Perrin hole with the rest of my fingers trailing down the handle. In this grip, it is competent at a lot of fleshing-like, and fine-point activities. It is surprisingly capable at fine tuning. Now that I have a few in hand, I'm going to regrind one to wharnie to see how fine-tuned it is for whittling and other activities. I like my bellied one for a lot of stuff because I don't have to put it down to safely pick other things up due to the Perrin hole and outward blade angle.

In the end, I hope you like the knife, but I know that I love it. It wouldn't hurt my feelings if the knife is unpopular, and it wouldn't hurt your chances of seeing some of the other stuff coming out of my shop if the knife catches on. If it is unpopular at first, my stack of them will skyrocket in value in a few years, so..... I'm just happy Spyderco took the risk and made the knife. Mostly, I make Japanese style knives and swords for me, my friends, and my family, but I have a few *conventionally-better-looking* folding designs in the pipes - chiefly a gentleman's hawkbill. At this point though, I have the Spyderco of my dreams. I got my free copy of the knife for designing it - Spyderco gave me a free knife designed for me and made by them. It was probably the best day at the mailbox. I couldn't have asked for a better company to help me make my knife dream come true.

With that said, I really want to thank Spyderco for going out onto a limb here. I really want to thank Sal for taking me seriously when I approached him about doing this properly once I had a concrete idea. I contacted him on these boards. I want to thank Eric for seeing merit in the idea and designs, and offering honest, frank feedback about what worked and did not work about each iteration. I want to thank some relatively unsung heroes of Spyderco - Peter and Roque for pushing this through prototyping. I want to thank Rebecca for being awesome at getting me behind the Spyderco curtain. I want to thank Joyce for introducing me to a huge number of other collaborators and showing me around behind the industry curtain. I would like to thank the workers at the factory in Japan producing them for doing such a good job on an unconventional design. I would like to thank Ed for shaking his head at me while I fawned over monosteel, and telling me that most of the prototypes he gives to Spyderco are in un-etched damascus because that's what classy knifemakers do. Thanks for starting me down that path...

This board is great because Spyderco clearly takes you seriously as consumers, and even sometimes designers. It takes thought and effort, but it has happened before and will most likely happen again. I hope you give it a shot.

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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby Skaaphaas » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:09 am

Thank you, I really was wondering when I saw this knife at first.

It makes far more sense now.

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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby SuckSqueezeBangBlow » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:13 am

I think it looks good, I would like to have a hold of one.

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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby chuck_roxas45 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:02 am

That's more than a few. :)

Anyway congratulations! :D

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Spydergirl88
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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby Spydergirl88 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:11 am

Congratulations on getting your knife design produced!
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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby Surfingringo » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:30 am

Thanks for the description SolidState. I want to say a couple of words about this design. In 2015 I was at the Blade show and got to handle all of the knives in the prototype cabinet. It was the Introvert that left the biggest impression on me. I was very pleased with the way the knife felt in my hand and could see its various design features being very useful. It is not the most conventional knife you will see but I have always been drawn to oddly shaped and purpose built designs like the Dodo or the Swick.

Speaking of the Swick, I am a big fan of that model and the few times that I've been able to handle the Introvert I've felt like it was much like a folding Swick. I guess that could be good or bad for the design. Bad because I don't think the Swick was great seller, but good because it is an excellent and functional design that just didn't quite catch on with enough people. I am betting that like the Swick, the Introvert is one of those Spydercos that will need to be carried and used to be fully appreciated. Congrats on the design!

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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby VashHash » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:31 am

As much as i appreciate the explanation.... We need pictures to go along with this.

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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby rodloos » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:44 am

I love hearing from the designers/collaborators of Spyderco's knives regarding their intent! I definitely see the Swick heritage in the Introvert (that's a good thing in my mind). I am anxious to see how it feels (I ordered mine from KnifeWorks this morning). It *looks* like it will be pocket-filling, but I figure if I can comfortably carry a Military or Manix 2 in my pocket, this one should be fine.

Congratulations on Collaboration!
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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby bearfacedkiller » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:02 am

I am a Swick fan as well and find the introvert very intriguing. Thanks for sharing "a few" words on it. ;) I hope to pick one up but unfortunately G10 apparently costs a fortune in Japan and this one may be slightly out of my reach like many of the g10 knives from Japan. Anyway, I agree with Lance that the Swick must be held to be appreciated and this knife is probably the same way. I wish you the best of luck with your design and look forward to seeing more of your designs in the future. It seems as though you can think outside the box which is great and something that makes a good fit with Spyderco.
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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby araneae » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:32 am

Been following this for several years, can't wait to hold it again. Certainly one of the most interesting designs I've encountered and one that is best appreciated in the hand. Best of luck with this and future projects!
So many knives, so few pockets... :)
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The "Spirit" of the design does not come through unless used. -Sal

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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby Ankerson » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:30 am

Congrats on the Collaboration. :D

Very interesting design concept. :)

Jim

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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby Ed Schempp » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:32 am

Working the prototypes at Shot I tried getting the knife in people's hands. It was fun watching the cluebird land. Knife has great egos and is very functional. Great design, very innovative...Ed

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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby rodloos » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:51 pm

I'm very thankful that the USPS still delivers on Saturdays here. I received my Introvert today (and a Cru-wear PM2!)

I really like this knife! This thing feels great in the hand. Very comfortable grip, and I love the Fred Perrin-inspired (and Spot/Swick Legacy) finger hole. Gives it a *very* secure grip. The flipper works great. So glad they were able to engineer it to work with the back lock. Snaps right open, and of course opening using the thumb hole works great as well.

Things that might not excite some people: the knife is pretty large for having such a small blade. Would probably work best to have its own pocket, (think Manix 2 size in the pocket) not sharing a pocket with a cell phone or anything. As I mentioned the blade is not huge, but actually works pretty well at that size, and is less likely to be prohibited by as many jurisdictions. The blade is "only" VG10, which adequate - same as my Super Leaf which I have had no problems with at all. The blade does have quite a bit of belly - if they ever come out with a Wharmcliffe blade version of it, I will definitely jump on that one as well.

I'll see if I can find time to grab a few pics of it tomorrow.
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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby araneae » Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:14 pm

I am privileged to have received a little something in the mail tonight from Mr. Knutson and I'll share my initial thoughts. The Introvert I received is every bit as interesting as I remember it. The knife is built to the high standards that we all expect from Spyderco. The flipper action is smooth and fast. This is hands down the fastest opening knife I own. The negative blade angle is a major factor in that. The knife feels so natural in hand that its like an extension of it. The finger hole is smooth and chamfered and I have no hot spots when using it. Jimping is completely unnecessary and I love jimping, this knife is rock solid in hand. It is comfortable in more grips than you would think with the finger ring being there. I would say manix 2 in pocket size is about right. I'm looking forward to getting this knife into use, thanks Chris!
So many knives, so few pockets... :)
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Just got: Wharncliffe & Waved D'flies

The "Spirit" of the design does not come through unless used. -Sal

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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby TALON52 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:10 pm

After reading all the above posts, I just ordered the Introvert! Looking forward to receiving it by the end of the week.
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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby DougC-3 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:04 am

Thanks very much for the detailed explanation. This has definitely moved it toward my want-list. Not into martial arts at this point, but it never hurts to be prepared. It's an interesting design, and I'm eager to get more information from early adopters about how it works for normal EDC and utility use. I've always had a dedicated knife-only pocket since my clipless days and used cargo pants since pocket PC's were invented (HP iPAQ~2000 :D ), so pocket space won't be a problem. And at 3.9 oz, it's between the lightweight and G-10 Manix 2's, so, for it's intended purposes, I wouldn't want it any lighter.
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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby TALON52 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:27 pm

Thanks SolidState for such a great design. Mine came today, and boy is she a beauty!! Other than the handle being a little thin for me, this knife is a keeper!

Here's some knife porn for everyone to enjoy.

Image

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Spydergirl88
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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby Spydergirl88 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:34 pm

Great pics talon!
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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby PM1 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:19 pm

I have been waiting for quite a while for The Introvert, and today I got mine. I really like the Swick; therefore, I suspected I would also like The Introvert. However, I was not a big fan of flippers, and I was also not sure how one would work with a back lock. Anyway, I bought it and here are some initial thoughts:

1) The Introvert is expensive; however, the build quality is really fine.
2) The ergonomics, for me, are excellent.
3) The large amount of belly on the blade will be liked by some and not by others. On such a short blade, I would prefer less belly; however, I have only used the knife for 1 day, so I'll have to see how the blade shape holds-up to a variety of tasks.
4) Finger holes rule!
5) The flipping action is very smooth; however, there is a trick that helps. When you put your finger on the flipper nub, don't pull your finger backward toward the lock or the deployment is sub-optimal. Instead, put your finger on the flipper nub and pull back and down at a 20 degree or greater angle and deployment will be 100% and lightning fast.
6) The Spydie hole works well and smoothly for a more sheeple friendly deployment.
7) This knife is ambidextrous, which is good, since I am left handed!
8) The fitting on the wire clip screw and barrel was wedgie tight. I needed a punch to flip the clip to the other side of the knife.
9) The wire clip was unusably tight on a pair of jeans. It was also of a style that leaves a significant portion of the knife out of your pocket. Rather than bending the clip, I replaced it with the deep concealment wire clip off my Pingo. Not only does it disappear much better into my pocket, but the "mega tight" issue is fixed.
10) The knife is a little wide, but very thin; therefore, in my jeans pocket The Introvert was not printing at all. I still had no problem getting my money clip out of that same pocket.

I will now give The Introvert some pocket time and see how it does. Upon close inspection it is a very high quality knife with a great feel in the hand. I strongly suspect it was a total pain in the arse to build, but Spyderco went above and beyond as usual to deliver a great product. The Introvert is unlike almost any other folder out there, and I think that is special. I also applaud that this design is a true ambidextrous flipper. When you add in the awesome finger ring and ergos, I really like this knife.

I have no idea if very many people will buy this knife because the looks are so unusual. Online sales will probably be reduced. However, in a brick and mortar store where you actually feel The Introvert, I suspect some skeptics will be converted.
Last edited by PM1 on Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A few words on the Introvert

Postby TALON52 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:31 pm

Spydergirl88 wrote:Great pics talon!
Thanks!! :)
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